• synonyms


[chil-der-muh s]
noun Chiefly British.
  1. Holy Innocents' Day.
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Origin of Childermas

before 1000; Middle English chyldermasse, equivalent to Old English cildra (genitive plural of cild child) + mæsse Mass
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for childermas

Historical Examples

  • See thou fall not hastily into the like offence, else shalt thou smart from Childermas to All-hallowtide.

    Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2)

    John Roby

  • On the eve of Innocents day (Dec. 28th), the priests gave way to the choir boys, the children, for the celebration of Childermas.

    St. Nicholas

    George H. McKnight

  • A central feature of the celebration was a pompous church procession following vespers on Childermas eve.

    St. Nicholas

    George H. McKnight

  • On Childermas day (the 28th of August) the license of the English visitors had grown to such a height, that it was.

British Dictionary definitions for childermas


  1. archaic Holy Innocents Day, Dec 28
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Word Origin

Old English cylda-mæsse, from cildra, genitive plural of child, + mæsse Mass
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for childermas



"festival of the Holy Innocents" (Dec. 28), late Old English *cildramæsse (c.1000), from obsolete plural of child (q.v.) + mass (n.2).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper